wmcha

By Debbie le Quesne

Why we should belong to the new Care Association Alliance

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The newly formed Care Association Alliance is now the biggest representative body for care providers in the country.

With more than 40 regional care association already signed up and others set to join, it already has already established a powerful lobbying voice within the first two months of its inaugural meeting.

Its aim is to represent, in a more defined and robust way, the issues that are perpetually raised at regional and local meetings by care providers.

Already in talks with lawyers over Judicial Reviews and their often-negative impact on care businesses and local authorities, the CAA is also trying to find a way ahead in the current nursing staff shortage.

A programme involving talks with CCGs, hospital trusts and social service departments is being rolled out over the next months. One area that is being researched is the role of advanced care practitioners in nursing homes and what most effective models of training could be developed or are available.

Current reports suggest up to 20,000 vacant nursing posts in the NHS alone and the expected demand for new nursing staff is rising by 6,00 nurses a year.

In a message to West Midlands Care Association members, this is what I have to say:

There has been a huge groundswell of support for the WMCA to join the Care Association Alliance. There are many regions why we should be part of this new, powerful, group of professionals.

Firstly, is affords local associations like ours a greater credibility to tackle many of the ongoing issues that have not been given an agenda by our national representatives. And let me add here that we are not in competition with them.

Indeed, we will do everything possible to work alongside existing umbrella bodies within the sector and preserve relationship with them. Our role will be different and our agendas too. Essentially, we are campaigning on more regional issues; issues that are often at the sharp end of care delivery.

Currently we’re looking at the issues of the nursing shortage and the corrosive Judicial Reviews that have dogged our sector in recent times.

Sadly, size does matter. It allows, for instance, our regional association to punch above its weight. It gives us access to decision-makers, it enables us to have a huge knowledge-base of best practice, it helps members deliver their own regional problems to national ears in the knowledge that some 42 associations are standing with them to forge change, and in its ranks has some great minds to help solve problems.

We cannot afford not to be part of this exciting development in not only shaping the future of care, but doing it in a way that supports business models rather than undermine them.

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